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The Canucks select...

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
This Sunday a member of the Vancouver Canucks organization will step up to the podium at the Prudential Center in New Jersey and announce the team has selected...

...your guess is as good as mine actually.

We won’t know who the Canucks draft until Sunday afternoon. Until then, the best, brightest and only hockey writers whose contact information I have shared some insight into who Vancouver may target with the 24th overall pick.

Dave Tomlinson - Radio colour commentator for the Canucks

“The Vancouver Canucks can use their 24th overall pick in this year's upcoming NHL Entry draft to add some size, strength and toughness to their prospect list, as most of the high-end talented players the Canucks have already taken in years past are not considered power forwards.

“The player I like at spot 24, if he is still available, is Kerby Rychel (pictured right). He is tough to play against, has a nose for the net, and comes from a hard-working pedigree as his dad Warren Rychel slugged it out at the NHL level, playing over 400 games and accumulating over 1400 PIMs.

“Kerby has scored 40 goals in the OHL the last two seasons for the Windsor Spitfires, has previously played alongside Canucks forward Zack Kassian, and he's known for playing a gritty, workmanlike game; he loves battles in front of the net.

“He has decent size at 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, but the intangible is the bloodline, as he has certainly acquired all of his father's tenacity, but more importantly, his work ethic is highly noticeable."

Jeff Angus - Managing editor of Dobber Hockey

“Drafting for team need isn’t advisable in the first round. You will hear almost every single NHL GM stand behind the BPA (best player available) strategy, and that should be Mike Gillis’ mindset on June 30th.

“Centers and defensemen are the two positions the Canucks need to focus on at the draft this year. They should grab a winger if they feel that the best player available is a winger, but all else equal the team would be smart to target either a center or a defenseman.

“The 2013 Draft is a deep one – there is a very good chance that the Canucks will have a tough decision to make if and when they head to the podium for the 24th overall selection. For whatever reason, the team has avoided drafting from the WHL in recent years. The WHL continues to churn out top talent at all positions, and that continues with a great crop of prospects this year.

“Two defensemen – Madison Bowey (pictured right) and Josh Morrissey – would be my targets at the draft this year. Bowey is a right-shooting defenseman who is a fantastic skater. He sees the ice well, has good size at 6-foot-1 and 200-pounds, and plays with a lot of confidence. As with many offensive defenseman prospects, he needs to me a more consistent physical presence.

“Morrissey is a steady-two-way defenseman who relies on superb mobility and hockey IQ (much like current Canucks defenseman Dan Hamhuis). Morrissey is arguably the best skating defenseman in this draft class, and mobility is always at a premium when considering future NHL defensemen. He needs to get bigger and stronger, but he plays with more of a physical edge than Bowey does.”

Jeff Paterson - Team 1040 Canucks reporter

“If the Canucks keep and use the 24th pick in the opening round of the NHL Draft, Quebec Remparts left winger Adam Erne (pictured right) is a player they should target.

"The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder had 28 goals and 72 points along with 67 penalty minutes in 68 QMJHL games this season. Ranked as high as 10th in some mock drafts, Erne has also dropped to the second round in others which makes him a complete wild card heading into this year's proceedings.

"The final Central Scouting Bureau rankings list Erne 26th among North American skaters which means there is a strong possibility he'll be available when the Canucks get to the podium. Described as a difficult player to play against and one who can make his mark on a game physically and with his skill, Adam Erne is a name to remember if he's still on the board when the Canucks get around to making their first round selection.

Thomas Drance - Managing editor of Canucks Army

“Admittedly I'm not an amateur scout. So when it comes to players who might be available late in the first round of the 2013 Draft, I'm mostly flying blind. To whit, of the three players I'm about to list as prospects that make sense for the Canucks, I've seen them play a combined rough total of 10 games over the past season (and zero times live). Still, based on a variety of factors (word of mouth, scouting reports and the available data) I think the following three players would make good sense for the Canucks to pick in the first round. That is if they're still on the board by the time the twenty-fourth overall pick rolls around…

“Robert Hagg (pictured right) - I watched an absurd amount of SEL hockey during the lockout. Between that and the fact that Hagg starred for the Tre Kronor at the U20 World Junior Championships this past December, he's by far the "potential late first round pick" who I'm most familiar with. Mike Gillis has never selected a defenseman with a first round pick, but I wonder if the Canucks front office might make an exception for a player with Hagg's skillset. Hagg is a smooth skater and a slick puck-mover who looks to me like a steady, responsible two-way player. Also he plays for Modo, and there's just something about that Modo/Canucks connection.

“Adam Erne - I saw Erne play a couple of times this past season, and was basically floored by his skill level and the combination of his size and speed. A variety of "character issues" may cause him to fall at the draft, but I think he's got the talent of a top-10 pick and could be a late-round steal.

“Fredrik Gauthier - Gauthier ranks high up the list on Central Scouting's draft rankings, but there are concerns about his "offensive upside" (whatever that means). Those concerns could cause him to fall to end of the first round. If that happens I'm sure the Canucks won't complain. Gauthier is a massive centreman who controlled the small handful games I watched him play last season. He could be exactly what the doctor ordered."

John Garrett - Sportsnet colour commentator

“The Canucks have been the model of consistency and it is reflected in their high draft position. In the past four years they have chosen 26th, 29th, 115th, and 22nd. This year they have the 24th selection. This is a good draft and it would be advantageous to move into the top ten, but that would take a roster player and a future pick. As I said the Canucks are a very good team and any draft pick will need some time to crack the line-up.

"There are some interesting choices the Canucks may have when their name is called. I think they will take a forward and will look for skill and toughness. Kerby Rychel is the son of Warren Rychel and plays for Bob Boughner in Windsor. He is a center, 6-foot-1 and 200-pounds, scored 87 points in 68 games and had 94 penalty minutes.

A couple of other candidates would be Anthony Mantha (pictured right), a 6-foot-4 left winger who had 89 points in 67 games for Val-d'Or and Frederik Gauthier a 6-foot-5 center who had 60 points in 62 games. Size and skill.”

Tyson Giuriato - prospects writer

“The Canucks need to get tougher to play against and that starts at the draft. Ryan Hartman (pictured right) may not be the biggest guy around at 5-foot-11, but that hasn’t stopped him from developing into a tough and rugged player.

"Hartman has good vision and passing skills, posting 60 points in 56 games last season, along with 120 penalty minutes, good for seventh in the OHL. Hartman can play center or the wing and was also a member of the USA’s World Junior Championship squad.

"A blue-collar player that outworks his opponents and finishes his checks with authority, Hartman could develop into a fan favorite in a few year’s time."

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